One of India’s most renowned boarding school for boys, The Scindia School, Gwalior is celebrating its 125th anniversary in October this year. The school, founded in 1897, has an impressive legacy and rich cultural heritage.
Ahead of its 125th anniversary celebrations, Ajay Singh, the Principal of the school, gives an insight into the remarkable journey of the school, its efforts towards producing well-rounded citizens for India, how he plans to take the school forward and much more in an email interaction with Hindustan Times digital:
The Scindia School is commemorating 125 years of its remarkable Journey. Would you like to shed some light on how the institution has evolved over the years?
The Scindia School is a pre-eminent centre of learning, producing global leaders with an Indian ethos. The School was founded by HH Maharaja Madhavrao Scindia I in 1897 as the Sardars’ School for educating the sons of Jagirdars and Chieftains as the administrators of tomorrow. In 1908, the Sardars’ School was shifted out of Phool Bagh into the Gwalior Fort. It was the visionary HH Maharaja Jiwajirao Scindia who transformed it into a modern public residential school. The Sardars’ School, renamed as the Scindia School opened its door to the public on July 1, 1933. The School was also the first school in the country to include IT in its curriculum in the year 1984. The first four boys who appeared for the CBSE Class XII computers exams were from the Fort. The computerization and technology leadership were possible under the astute leadership of HH Madhavrao Scindia II. Today the School stands tall with its new age pedagogies, inculcating globalization and environmental awareness under the able guidance of the Board led by HH Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Can you elaborate on The Scindia School’s curriculum. What does the school do to strike a balance between academic rigor and holistic development of the students?
The School follows the CBSE curriculum. Equal importance is given to Sports. There are 18 major sports including Horse riding. The philosophy is to build character and sportsmanship. The ability to deal with failures and bounce back from defeat is inculcated through sports and physical fitness. Adventure is a religion in the school. We send students for mountaineering, skiing, cycling and treks. The spirit of challenging physical boundaries evolves. Skills of woodwork, paper-mache, stone work, art and design, metal work teaches the value of appreciation for handiwork and imagination along with creativity. The think lab fosters excellence in technology. Emphasis on various clubs and societies allows the students to delve into their passion and creativity.
Would you like to give a broad overview of the academic performance of your students in the CBSE Class 10 and Class 12 board exams in the last five years?
It has been around 90% for class XII and 88% for class X.
What is the annual fee charged from a student at Scindia School? Do you think the high fees charged by the school is justified?
The Annual fees are INR 8,67,00/- per annum. At the time of admission, a one time admission fee and caution money (refundable) is charged along with the annual fees. The fees are as per good residential schools where the quality of boarding, lodging, food, books and facilities of sports and extra-curricular activities are of the highest standards. Quality faculty and instructors provide the richness of curriculum.
Do you also provide scholarships to bright students who cannot afford education at Scindia School? If yes, would you please elaborate.
Scholarships are provided on merit basis based on overall performance in academics, activities and sports.
In light of the recent implementation of the New Education Policy, how has The Scindia School adapted its educational approach to align with the policy’s objectives?
We are robustly already way into modern pedagogies where case studies and project works are used for teaching and learning. Equal importance is aligned to include IT and Art integration in the classrooms. Financial literacy, Business bee, AI have already been functional in the school and integrated well into the curriculum. Holistic assessment on leadership, values, sensitivity to environment and SDG goals in built into the curriculum. Real life education is at the core of teaching since being blessed to be on the fort draws us to into rich history and architecture. The school is engaged richly into meadows and eco park to teach students about carbon sink and ecology. Water conservation is inbuilt due to the presence of Taals (water bodies). Students have made channels to ensure the flow of rainwater into the Taals to make the 160 acre campus water positive.
Could you delve into the intangible factors, such as the school’s ethos, values, and overall atmosphere, that leave a lasting impact on students, shaping their character and future trajectories?
Nestled in history of India’s greatest impregnable fort, the School is transforming the lives of its students to become ethical and righteous citizens in a global world, yet remain firmly rooted in Indianness “Astachal” the daily practice of meditation, self-reflection and introspection to the setting sun, continues to bind the generations of Scindians. The value of service before self describes every student passing out from this hallowed portal. Two villages have been totally transformed by the School social service society, Sonsa and Nathukapura. We prepare citizens who are global yet deeply Indian.
After the remarkable achievement of the school in the last 125 years, how do you plan to take it forward in the coming years?
The School is aggressively looking at bridging the school industry gap by bringing in experts from different fields to interact with the students and guide them for upcoming industry requirements.
Science projects and project papers in different subjects are being encouraged to enhance research skills.
Incorporation of coding for deeper IT skills and programming.
Focus on interdisciplinary teaching.